2016 Presidential Voter Guides

The Candidates

How Voter Guides are Scored

Candidates were graded only on questions for which the Secular Coalition was able to identify the candidates’ position—either through statements or previous actions. For each response, the candidates were given a grade of A, B, C or F.

An “A” grade earned the candidate 3 points, “B” earned 2 points, “C” earned 1 point and an “F” earned 0 points. Grades of “N/A” indicate that the Secular Coalition was unable to identify the candidate’s position on the given topic. The grades were averaged for a total. N/A grades were not factored into the candidate’s score.

2016 Secular Values Voter Questionnaire

Hillary Clinton:

“I think we’ve gotta stick with our founding principles, separation between church and state. And remember: It was done in the beginning mostly to protect religion from the state. So we need to stick…we need to stick with what has worked.”

Gary Johnson:

“I believe we can, and must, strike a balance between our shared American values of religious liberty and freedom from discrimination.”

Dr. Jill Stein:

“We don’t live in a religious country – in the sense of having no national religion, and instead the separation of church and state – so faith should not be a public issue.”

Donald Trump:

When asked if he believed that America is a Judeo-Christian nation, he answered “That’s the way it is.”

Hillary Clinton:

“I am very supportive of the separation of church and state… I think the separation of church and state has served us very well, and I will certainly defend it.”

Gary Johnson:

“Yes, but do not waste money removing existing references [to God from money, federal buildings, and national monuments].”

Dr. Jill Stein:

“Religious societies where religion is enshrined in government are extremely problematic. I respect every faith and look for a moral and ethical foundation of how society works–but that is independent of faith or whether one has a religion at all. And that needs to be reflected in our government. Failing to separate church and state is a bad prescription.”

Donald Trump:

“An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.”

Gary Johnson:

“As Gov. of New Mexico [religion] just wasn’t an issue ever. It wasn’t an issue when it came to filling my cabinet, filling the heads of agency. It was never an issue when it came to filling boards and commissions. It just wasn’t an issue. And I don’t expect it to be different as President of the United States.”

Hillary Clinton, Dr. Jill Stein, and Donald Trump:

There are no answers available for this question for these candidates. Help us get the candidates on the record on this issue by asking them a question on the campaign trail.

 

Hillary Clinton:

“[Hillary will] protect women’s health and reproductive rights. Women’s personal health decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. Hillary will stand up to Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which would restrict access to critical health care services, like cancer screenings, contraception, and safe, legal abortion.”

Dr. Jill Stein

“Religion and healthcare have nothing to do with each other. It should not be the prerogative of an employer to exercise his personal beliefs in determining the healthcare of his employees.”

Gary Johnson

“The law of the land is Casey v. Planned Parenthood. I have no intention of changing the law, and Casey v. Planned Parenthood says, ‘you, woman, you have the right to have an abortion up to viability of the fetus.’ And the Supreme Court has defined viability of the fetus as being able to sustain the life of the fetus outside of the womb, even by artificial means. That is the law of the land.”

Donald Trump:

The Trump campaign issued the following statement clarifying Trump’s remarks regarding abortion: “Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president,” it read. “Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”

Hillary Clinton:

Senator Clinton responded “yes” when asked in a 2007 survey if she would “support the replacement of funding for international and domestic ‘abstinence only’ HIV prevention programs with scientifically based, comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education programs.”

Gary Johnson

“All education in schools, whether it be about sex or mathematics, should be determined at the state and local level, and if freed from federal mandates, will reflect local priorities and values. Such local control, especially if combined with true school choice, will address issues of curricula and encourage parental influence thereon.”

Dr. Jill Stein and Donald Trump:

There are no answers available for this question from these candidates. Help us get them on the record on this issue by asking them this question on the campaign trail.

Hillary Clinton:

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Gary Johnson

“The argument that vouchers are unconstitutional because you’re giving money to private schools is bogus. If you want to start calling vouchers unconstitutional, then every single state has got a lot of unconstitutional programs. We give low-income parents money so they can take their pre-school children to day-care centers of their choice. Many are church-affiliated. We don’t tell them where they have to take their child.”

Dr. Jill Stein and Donald Trump:

There are no answers available for this question from these candidates. Help us get them on the record on this issue by asking them this question on the campaign trail.

There are no answers available for this question. Help us get the candidates on the record on this issue by asking them a question on the campaign trail.

Hillary Clinton:

“It’s hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change. Who would rather remind us they’re not scientists than listen to those who are. You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all, you just have to be willing to act.”

Gary Johnson

“Is the climate changing? Probably so. Is man contributing to that change? Probably so. But the critical question is whether the politicians’ efforts to regulate, tax and manipulate the private sector are cost-effective – or effective at all. The debate should be about how we can protect our resources and environment for future generations. Governors Johnson and Weld strongly believe that the federal government should prevent future harm by focusing on regulations that protect us from real harm, rather than needlessly costing American jobs and freedom in order to pursue a political agenda.”

Dr. Jill Stein

“[Stein will] enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete. [Stein will] initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. [Stein will] create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.”

Donald Trump

“So I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather.”